On March 16, 2014, Crimeans voted in a sham referendum for Russia to annex Crimea.
Has life improved for the approximately 2 million people who live there?
Not at all. On every measure, from the economy to its treatment of minorities, the beautiful peninsula has become a shell of what it once was.
The economic situation in Crimea is desperate. Tourism, one of the peninsula’s main economic engines, took a serious nosedive in 2014, when Crimea received fewer than 3 million visitors—half the number who vacationed there in 2013.
That is because Ukrainians made up the largest portion of tourists in Crimea prior to annexation. But for political and economic reasons, many now choose not to go. The Russian tourists who were supposed to flood into Crimea never came.